• Ms. Smallwood 
    Welcome to my classroom!  I use a diverse array of teaching strategies to ensure I am able to provide every student the ability to do his or her best. 
     
    As a teacher, I also count on parental support to ensure students have quality communication with their parents about learning and school in general.  Establishing this practice early on sets communication expectations for later in their education.
     
    The way questions are phrased will affect the answers you receive from students. Asking questions that are positive and open ended will build that home/school communication so it is routine later.
     
    Questions such as "How was school?"  will provide little opportunity for a meaningful response.  Questions such as: "What was the best thing that happened at school today?" then continuing to coax students into more description creates a habit of on going communication.  Once you know enough about your student's day, you can then ask deeper questions such as "Are you still researching for your PBL?"
     
    I greatly encourage talking about school content so you can join your child on their educational adventures, and support them along the way to guide them to success.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
      
    Wishing You a Wonderful Summer!
     
    No matter what teacher you end up with for fourth grade there are three basic things you need to do over the summer to prepare your child for fourth grade:
     
     
    1. Practice multiplication facts regularly.  Starting the year strong in multiplication facts makes the beginning of the year easier for your student.  Multiplication facts were taught in 3rd grade but without practice over the summer, will not be remembered by most.  Speed does count, so consider speed games after your child becomes proficient.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    2. Children should read every day they eat!  By fourth grade, children should be reading chapter books.  I encourage you to become involved in library programs and engage your child with reading routines at home.  Reading with your child is a wonderful bonding experience that teaches children to enjoy reading because they are sharing it with a loved one! Adding even 15 minutes a day to your routine builds a stronger student, and creates a wonderful connection with you.
     
    3. Encourage writing at home.  Have your child write a letter to a relative, or write and draw a picture about something special he or she did during the summer.  Consider a modified version of a scrapbook, whereby students can put pictures and captures about their family, friends and adventures.  This is a wonderful way to not only capture great memories, but to also keep writing strong.
     
    Setting this routine during the summer will make the beginning of school more enjoyable for your child.  = )
     
    About Ms. Smallwood:
     
    I have taught fourth and fifth grade at Cool Spring for 13 years.  My classroom is full of music and movement as we work to prevent too much sitting!  Music of many genres is played in the background and during routines to liven up the day! 
     
    We work from day one to learn organization skills that will help them become successful this year and in the future. Materials are color coded to make locating what they need, and the expandable folder is used to organize loose papers by subject.  Teachers will work with students to ensure their expandable folders are organized.  Quarterly, we will clean out papers no longer required. 
     
    I put a strong focus on respect in the classroom in support of the Penguin Pride initiative.  Students are consistently expected to respect themselves, respect others, and respect property.   
     
     
     
    I graduated from George Mason University with a B.S. in Psychology.  Before I became an elementary school teacher, I was a manager at Xerox Corporation in both Herndon and Leesburg.  I managed the technical writing team and worked as a writer of technical literature, developed training on new technologies, and trained employees.  I changed my career by returning to George Mason University and enrolling in their Master's with initial teacher's licensure program. 
     
     
     
    I love teaching children, and generally try to incorporate many hands on tactics to keep the students active and getting practical experience.  I encourage a cooperative learning scenario whereby children are encouraged to work together to agree on answers and be able to independently support them.  I manage my classroom focusing on how each child's differences can be seen as "strengths," rather than weaknesses.  Respect is a key component for me both amongst each other in the school community but for ourselves.
     
     
    Wishing You a Wonderful Summer!
     
    No matter what teacher you end up with for fourth grade there are three basic things you need to do over the summer to prepare your child for fourth grade:
     
     
    1. Practice multiplication facts regularly.  Starting the year strong in multiplication facts makes the beginning of the year easier for your student.  Multiplication facts were taught in 3rd grade but without practice over the summer, will not be remembered by most.  Speed does count, so consider speed games after your child becomes proficient.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    2. Children should read every day they eat!  By fourth grade, children should be reading chapter books.  I encourage you to become involved in library programs and engage your child with reading routines at home.  Reading with your child is a wonderful bonding experience that teaches children to enjoy reading because they are sharing it with a loved one! Adding even 15 minutes a day to your routine builds a stronger student, and creates a wonderful connection with you.
     
    3. Encourage writing at home.  Have your child write a letter to a relative, or write and draw a picture about something special he or she did during the summer.  Consider a modified version of a scrapbook, whereby students can put pictures and captures about their family, friends and adventures.  This is a wonderful way to not only capture great memories, but to also keep writing strong.
     
    Setting this routine during the summer will make the beginning of school more enjoyable for your child.  = )